I have built a number of intranet sites for clients using SharePoint Server. Although I spend quite a bit of time educating business owners and content authors about how to use SharePoint, there’s always the bigger task of educating the entire end-user workforce on how to use this new platform called SharePoint. While I often advocate a “train the trainer” type scneario where “champions” from each department are given in-depth training that they in turn are to spread to their colleagues, it’s often unreasonable to expect every employee in a company to attend any sort of formal training.
One way to tackle this is to provide your own custom training for users that’s available to them from within the SharePoint site. It could be a custom site that’s set up for users who are using SharePoint for the first time, that contains help documentation they can read through. If possible, it’s great to write documentation that’s specific to the company’s specific intranet site. I had one client who went so far as to record video snippets of how to do certain things in the new site.
As nice as this type of thing is, there are a lot of tasks in SharePoint that are fairly basic, such as checking documents in and out of libraries, adding a new document to a library, etc. It would be very time consuming to record custom videos or write custom documentation around these types of tasks. Luckily, I found out about a company called Point8020 that has created a product called ShowMe for SharePoint. This product provides a library of “how to” videos to end users, about how to carry these types of tasks in SharePoint. What’s especially nice is that these videos are available within the SharePoint context. For instance, users might see a link to the video library from their Site Actions menu, or they might access videos from a custom tab in the ribbon found in document libraries.
You can see the product in action at http://www.point8020.com/.